Hitching a Ride on Nessie

June 16, 2014

The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.   

We at CFI pack a lot into each fortnight. Catch up with the latest edition of our newsletter, Cause & Effect.

The guy who just primary'd Eric Cantor out of a job, David Brat, turns out to be a fascinating (and troubling) guy. Michelle Boorstein profiles Brat and his approach to what he sees as theologically-correct Christian economics

This is rich: Deepak Chopra issues his own $1,000,000 challenge to James Randi and other skeptics ("any of your cronies") to explain normal experience. What? 

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Rick Perry’s Genetic Coding

June 13, 2014

The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.   

It's a full moon -- a "honey moon," no less -- on Friday the Thirteenth, so I suppose the world will be sucked into the Bermuda Triangle, which is operated by the still-living Elvis and Hitler, both of whom are lizard people. But in honor of today, we've got some classic Skeptical Inquirer from 1985: I. W. Kelly, James Rotton, and Roger Culver with "The Moon Was Full and Nothing Happened." 

Saudi Arabia's Justice Minister, Mohammed Al-Eissa, spoke to a gathering of lawyers in DC (we don't know who they were), and made a scary defense of his country's draconian, theocratic laws...

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Spank a Plankton

June 12, 2014

The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.   

So everything on the Internet was broken yesterday. For me, that meant Feedly, Evernote, and a handful of sites crucial to this blog were totally inaccessible. Google Apps and Facebook would break sporadically. And many of us saw what happened to TweetDeck, which affected both the official CFI account and my personal account, because I love TweetDeck and for the love of all things unholy why is there not a native TweetDeck iPad app??? Allegedly, these things are all fixed now. But it was a real pain.

Several towns in Iraq are being taken over by Islamic militants, and it's revealed that the White House has rejected pleas from the Maliki government for military assistance. 

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Gohmert Vociferously Gohmerting

June 11, 2014

The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.   

Well this is fun. Thanks to a series of DDOS attacks on websites by hackers looking to extort ransom, I can't access some of my usual sources for news and links. This includes Feedly, my RSS aggregator of choice. So I'm digging around the Internet the old-fashioned way, but some of the places I often go for news simply aren't available. Please use your imagination to fill in any gaps in today's Heresy. It's what I usually do. 

Amid the online demonstrations against Pakistan's censorship of Twitter under its blasphemy laws, Pakistan blocks the petition being circulated by Ex-Muslims of North America. We made a birdDeseret News covers some of the activity.

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I Saw Goody Proctor with Slender Man!

June 10, 2014

The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.   

CFI joins a coalition of secular groups today in a campaign to urge Pakistan to end its censorship of social media and its crackdown on religious dissent with #TwitterTheocracy. Our policy chief Michael De Dora has written a letter to the Pakistani ambassador to the UN, which has been signed by a wide array of groups.

Point of Inquiry this week features trans rights activist Janet Mock, talking to Lindsay Beyerstein about her new memoir. 

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Odd, Misanthropic, Supercilious

June 09, 2014

The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.   

CFI's Michael De Dora comments on the unanimous Senate passage of a bill allowing for a prayer plaque at the WWII memorial, here in the Washington Post:

We thought the Senate would take the long view of this and see the policy implications of adding a Christian prayer to a World War II monument. But even more upsetting was the way it was passed. There was no floor debate, no official vote, no one went on the record regarding their position. No one was allowed to speak up and no one did speak up. 

Without naming us, yet linking to us, Mark Tooley at the American Spectator characterizes CFI and its "odd coalition" as perhaps "misanthropic" and definitely "supercilious" for our opposition

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Clap Along if You Feel Like You Are Made of Star Stuff

June 06, 2014

The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.   

Tara Culp-Ressler at Think Progress has an excellent piece on our Keep Health Care Safe and Secular campaign:

You’ve seen the headlines: another abortion restriction approved, a record-breaking measles outbreak, a new hospital merger, a controversy over whether an individual should remain on life support. Now, a new campaign from the Center for Inquiry wants you to start connecting the dots.

Boing Boing is the second big outlet this week to highlight Carrie Poppy's Skeptical Inquirer piece on Masaru Emoto's yelling-at-water experiments. The other was Vox.

One dead and three wounded yesterday by a shooter at Seattle Pacific University, a Christian university. 

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A Refuge for Privileged Eccentrics

June 05, 2014

The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.   

The Keep Health Care Safe and Secular campaign is underway. Our boss Ron Lindsay explains the reasoning behind the campaign:

Religious interference with the delivery of health care services is a serious matter—in some cases, a deadly serious matter. By all means, getting God off our currency would be a good thing, but frankly, it’s more of a priority to get God out of our physicians’ offices and our hospitals.

Ophelia Benson calls Safe & Secular "much needed." 

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Pokemon for Simpletons

June 04, 2014

The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.   

The Keep Health Care Safe and Secular campaign is off! Check out the great resources at the website, tell us your stories of contending with religion and pseudoscience in health care, and tweet with #SafeandSecular! Hemant says, "I can’t stress how broad this campaign is — and it needs to be. Atheists and skeptics should be concerned with any number of health care-related issues."

The Richard Dawkins Foundation picks our own Debbie Goddard as their Secular VIP of the Week! 

Iranian American comedian Negin Farsad joins Josh Zepps on Point of Inquiry to give her take on religious identification and the debates over Islam.  

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Some Bastard Child of Soft and Hard Science

June 03, 2014

The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.   

Today, CFI launches a major new campaign to fight the influence of religious dogma and junk science in health care: Keep Health Care Safe and Secular. This is a big deal for us, and in a really cool way shows how the seemingly disparate humanist and skeptic sides of CFI really do come from the same place: science and reason on a foundation of compassion, for doing what's right. We've got a big new website (SafeandSecular.org) full of information and actions you can take right now, and of course, a lovely little hashtag: #SafeandSecular. We've put, and will continue to put, an enormous amount of effort into this, from all areas of CFI, so stay tuned. 

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